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News from Dozens

Big Talk: What People Really Want From Their Banks

21 August 2019

At Dozens, we're committed to innovating in the real world as much as the digital one. So in July, we hosted a session that explored what a bank branch of the future could look like.

A few weeks ago, we hosted a session in West London with people who lived locally to explore how we might co-create the bank branch of the future. It was an insightful and exciting day, jam packed with getting to know each other, sharing ideas, and discussing what the future of bank branches could look like if we were to design and create them together. 


Mind The Gap


You might be wondering why we decided to host this session – it wasn’t just to order more Dozens chocolate coins and eat them in wonderful company (though these were definitely a bonus). We wanted to get together with people from all walks of life to talk about their needs and how a future bank could best fulfil them, because we had recently noticed something… 


There is a digital gap in the population, and a financial gap that is directly connected.  


The ‘digital gap’ refers to those who feel alienated by digital banking and so don’t want to use it. This is perfectly illustrated by our research (together with Seedrs and YouGov) that found that nearly 50% of the population wouldn’t consider using an app to manage their banking.

There are also, though, those that feel exceptionally confident using digital banking tools and so, in this environment of digital banking, are potentially in a better position to manage their money but might not necessarily be in a positive financial position or have good financial understanding. This is the financial gap.  

We wanted to host this session to get a bit more information from people, and use their insights to inform how we might help to close this gap.

We wanted to host this session to get a bit more information from people, and use their insights to inform how we might help to close this gap.


What We Learned 


   In the past banks have been considered to be purely functional rather than educational institutions, but the key to getting on top of our finances (and closing the gap) is to be digitally and financially literate, so banks should be helping to educate us in these areas.  At Dozens, we want to explore how we can help people gain these digital and financial skills.

●   Even though we are all different, our versions of banking heaven and hell are strikingly similar, which means that an ideal bank of the future has a great please-all blueprint. We all hate time wasting, queuing, and a “computer says no” attitude to us as customers, but we love a friendly face or voice with a helpful attitude and the feeling of being heard and taken seriously by our bank. If we can have an allocated time slots to avoid wasting time, even better.

●   We all have different rules and ideas about what we would and wouldn’t be happy to do digitally when it comes to banking; even the most critical opponents of digital banking have things they’d be happy to do in an app, like paying in cheques. Likewise, even the most digitally savvy of us have moments where we would like to be actually connected to a physical bank, like if you want the whole experience and memory of opening someone’s first bank account.

●   Learning from parallel worlds helps us re-define what a bank branch could be: we could take learnings from the inner workings of libraries or delivery apps, for example, that could go on to inform future bank branches. The result could take the best of all worlds to create an on-demand service and a focus on community for financial education.

●   Financial topics are all different: We sometimes need privacy to talk about our finances, but more often than not we can benefit hugely from peer to peer and community support; sharing experiences with people going through a similar financial journey.


What’s next 


We will filter through the best future bank branch ideas and turn these into concepts for our test bed Pop Up on Harrow Road and exhibit them there. We don’t want to ruin the surprise and give too much away, but expect to see elements of these ideas put to the test; from financial education, community focused engagement, to tech focused advice for SMEs. Watch this space for an exciting programme of events!